In fitting fashion, LSU’s star freshman Harold Perkins called game for the Tigers when for the second time in the ball game, the five star signee forced a sack fumble in the backfield as Arkansas was driving to at least tie the game at 13 with 1:27 left to play. Perkins got off to a great jump off the snap beating the tackle, ducking under, and hitting Arkansas quarterback Cade Fortin’s arm before he could push the football forward. As the ball was bouncing around on the turf, Mekhi Wingo was quick to fall on it sealing the 13-10 victory for the Tigers.
Harold Perkins was a constant nightmare all night long for the Razorbacks regardless if it was Malik Hornsby or Cade Fortin today with KJ Jefferson being out due to a shoulder injury. Perkins started the game forcing a fumble on Hornsby with BJ Ojulari recovering the loose ball, and ended the game in similar fashion. However, he was just as dominant in between the two plays with eight tackles, four sacks, four TFLs, a pass breakup, a quarterback hurry, and of course, the two forced fumbles. The four sacks tied a school record and possibly could have had a five sack including a potential third forced fumble on the drive prior to the game ending play, but the play was reversed to an incomplete pass under review. What was even more incredible about the freshman’s performance was that he was sick entering the game with the flu and even threw up before the game. Like the great Michael Jordan from the Chicago Bulls, Harold Perkins had his own version of the “Flu Game” even though Perkins does not know quite who his head coach is referring to.
“He got sick before the game and he threw up as he was going into the team meal and I said, ‘hey, you know MJ threw up when he had his greatest game.”
“His response was ‘Who’s MJ?”
“I said, ‘man, I am getting so old.”LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly on Harold Perkins having the flu before his game wrecking performance
Perkins’ individual effort carried the Tigers on both sides of the football today as the LSU offense struggled mightily in the game too. After having an incredible three game stretch offensively, it was a day to forget for Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels as for the second time this season, failed to reach 100 yards passing in a game. Daniels finished the contest completing eight of 15 passes for 86 yards. The Arizona State transfer quarterback entered the game with only two turnovers all season long, but turned the football over twice on the team’s first three possessions. The first turnover came when Daniels was trying to throw the ball in the ground, but Latavious Brini intercepts him on the first drive of the game. The second came when Daniels fumbled the football caused by Arkansas’ Jordan Domineck, which was recovered by Brini.
Fortunately for the Tigers, the defense stood tall and only gave up three points off the two turnovers. It was not just the turnovers that caused problems for LSU’s offense, but the constant pass rush proved to be too much for the offensive line and Daniels to handle as he was sacked seven times throughout the game. To put that in comparison, Daniels only had eight completions the entire game because of the pass rush.
Arkansas had its issues too with Malik Hornsby getting his first career start at quarterback. In the first half, the Razorbacks tried to go for it on fourth and goal after the Daniels’ fumble, but Greg Penn, Micah Baskerville, Mekhi Wingo, and BJ Ojulari all were involved in getting a big goal line stand to prevent the Tigers from being down two possessions.
In the cold conditions, it was the defenses that were heating up throughout the first half as the only scoring throughout the first 30 minutes came on field goals. Damian Ramos’ two field goals to Cam Little’s one gave the LSU Tigers a 6-3 lead going into halftime.
At the start of the second half, it was more of the same, but LSU got its best offensive drive of the football game when the defense forced a second turnover on downs as pressure from BJ Ojulari and Ali Gaye caused Hornsby to slip, which gave the Tigers excellent field position at Arkansas’ 40 yard line. The Tigers would take advantage as Daniels hits Kayshon Boutte for 26 yards to give the Tigers the ball inside the one yard line. A play later, Josh Williams punches the ball in the end zone to give the Tigers’ some breathing room at 13-3.
On the next drive, Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman decided to change quarterbacks after Hornsby completed only four of nine passes for 24 yards. The Razorbacks go to their third quarterback Cade Fortin and it seemed to be a great decision. After Fortin completes a third down and 17 pass to Matt Landers for 29 yards, he finds Landers again for a 40 yard touchdown pass to make it a field goal game at 13-10 entering the fourth quarter.
Both teams would continue to struggle offensively for the remainder of the game as LSU would turn the ball over on downs with six minutes left to play in the ball game, but again, LSU’s defense makes sure Arkansas does not capitalize off the turnover on downs and forces the Razorbacks to punt. LSU forces Arkansas to burn its three timeouts and that gave the Razorbacks the football with less than two minutes left to play in the game. What came next was Harold Perkins’ game clinching play.
Despite not having a good game offensively, LSU’s defense, led by Perkins, carried the team to a 13-10 win over Arkansas. If there was a bright spot for the offense, it would have to be the play of former walk-on Josh Williams, who picked up plenty of tough yards on the ground the entire game with 19 carries for 122 yards and the Tigers’ only touchdown.
“If you look up strain in the dictionary, he’s the guy.”LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly on Josh Williams’ performance
Defensively, the headlines will go to Perkins and rightfully so, but a lot of credit goes to defensive coordinator Matt House for his excellent game plan. There were also other great individual performances on that side of the football. Greg Penn had nine tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. BJ Ojulari had seven tackles and a half sack. Micah Baskerville had six tackles and a pass breakup. Jaquelin Roy and Mekhi Wingo had nine combined tackles. Saivion Jones recorded a sack. Then, there was the secondary featuring Greg Brooks, Major Burns, Joe Foucha, Mekhi Garner, and Jarrick Bernard-Converse as they were reliable tacklers too in the game. Overall, the Tigers’ defense had five sacks, forced two turnovers, two fourth down stops, and only gave up 249 total yards of offense.
It was not pretty, but all that matters is that the Tigers found a way to win the game and continue to keep all its future goals alive for a SEC championship and a possible College Football Playoff berth.
“We found a way to win. That’s really what this is about. When you play in a league like this, in particular the SEC West, find a way to win. That’s what I’m proud of. I’m proud of our guys having the mental toughness to battle and find a way to win.”LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly on 13-10 win over Arkansas
The Tigers get back the Golden Boot trophy and now will cheer for the Alabama Crimson Tide to get a win over Ole Miss. If Alabama does defeat Ole Miss, then LSU will clinch the SEC West crown and will punch their ticket to Atlanta.
“We’re in a different realm now. We’re being hunted. We’re going to get everybody’s best shot. They understand that. We have some things to work on, but we’ll enjoy this victory and come back prepared for UAB.”LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly on the team being on top of SEC West
The LSU Tigers improve their record to 8-2 on the season and will play UAB at home for the final home game of the season. Meanwhile, it was a valiant effort for the Arkansas Razorbacks, but they will fall to 5-5. Arkansas will have to win at least one of its final two games against Ole Miss and Missouri to clinch bowl eligibility.
Twitter Updates Throughout The Game:
Offensive Cumulative Stats:
|NET TOTAL YARDS||284||249|
|NET RUSHING YARDS||198||133|
|Average Per Rush||3.9||2.9|
|NET PASSING YARDS||86||116|
|Avg Per Completion||10.8||9.7|
|Drops (%)||0 (00%)||0 (00%)|
|TOTAL 1ST DOWNS||15||15|
|Rushing 1st Downs||11||11|
|Passing 1st Downs||4||4|
|Penalty 1st Downs||0||0|
Offense Efficiency Comparison:
|RED ZONE ATTEMPTS||3-3||1-2|
|Red Zone Points||13||3|
|RZ TDs Rush-Pass||1-0||0-0|
|RZ FG Made-Att||2-2||1-1|
|Pts Off Turns||3||0|
Special Teams Comparison:
|Tackles for Loss||9||8|
LSU Field Goals:
|TOTAL||2-2||LONG OF 38|
LSU All Purpose Yards:
|30||G.Penn III (LB)||9||5||0||2.5||0||1||0||0|
|40||H.Perkins Jr. (LB)||8||6||4||4||0||1||1||2|
|3||G.Brooks Jr. (S)||4||4||0||0||0||0||0||0|
LSU Punt Returns:
LSU Kick Returns:
LSU Team Stats By Quarter:
LSU Scoring Summary:
|2||09:28||FG||D.Ramos 38 yd Field Goal||5/17/1:56||3-3|
|2||01:51||FG||D.Ramos 29 yd Field Goal||11/61/5:12||3-6|
|3||05:25||TD||RUSH||J.Williams 1 yd rush|
PAT kick by D.Ramos (GOOD)
Arkansas Field Goals:
|TOTAL||1-1||LONG OF 28|
Arkansas All Purpose Yards:
Arkansas Punt Returns:
Arkansas Kick Returns:
Arkansas Team Stats By Quarter:
Arkansas Scoring Summary:
|1||04:48||FG||C.Little 28 yd Field Goal||10/46/3:24||3-0|
|4||13:17||TD||PASS||M.Landers 40 yd reception thrown by C.Fortin|
PAT kick by C.Little (GOOD)